Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Many traffic fines would go up a dollar under a bill approved by the California Senate today. The legislation would apply to all moving violations. The money would go to fund spinal cord injury research at the University of California.
In a very unusual floor debate, several Republicans supported the one dollar fee, while some Democrats opposed it. GOP Senator Mark Wyland said he doesn’t often approve of new fees, but this measure is an exception: "If you pay 500 dollars for a ticket, what’s 501 dollars to solve a very significant problem using the university of California?”
But Democratic Senator Rod Wright said he couldn’t vote yes, given the cuts to programs like child care assistance that lawmakers recently made: "If I had this money and I was saying, am I going to do research on spinal cord injuries, or am I going to provide daycare for a lady in Compton who we just whacked, I’m going with the lady in Compton.”
A Senate analysis finds the new fee could result in about three-and-a-half million dollars a year for research. The bill now goes back to the Assembly.